Artichokes are a mysterious vegetable, and a lot of people are intimidated by them. How do you cook an artichoke? How do you cut into it? What parts do you eat? And how does it taste?
You may have had marinated artichoke hearts that come in a jar, or you’ve noticed little strips of artichoke in your spinach dip. But eating a whole artichoke is a lot different than having prepared hearts.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to prepare and eat an artichoke, along with my favorite dipping sauces.
Are Artichokes Good For You?
Coming in at 6g of net carbs per whole artichoke, it’s something you’ll want to add to the rotation if you’re keto. Artichokes are also an antioxidant powerhouse, and they have lots of gut-happy resistant starch.
How to Buy Artichokes
If you’ve never bought whole artichokes before, you might wonder how to choose good ones. Here’s what to look for:
Tight leaves. Your artichoke should look like a giant flower bud. Leaves should not be curling out like a blooming flower.
Heft. Pick up a few, and feel their weight. Heavier artichokes are fresher, and lighter ones are older and perhaps dried out.
Brown streaks on the outside, or not. A little browning on the outside is nothing to be concerned about. Some people say that the ones with brown streaks are sweeter because the frost that caused them brings out the natural sugars.
Once your artichokes are cleaned and steamed properly, the leaves and heart are excellent vehicles for dips.
How to Cook an Artichoke (Steam Method)
Time in the kitchen: 45 minutes, including 35 minutes steaming time
To prepare an artichoke, first cut off most of the stem on top, leaving about ¼” of the stem left intact.
Cut off the tough bottom of the artichoke, about 1” worth. Use kitchen scissors to trim the tough prickly ends of the artichoke leaves. Cut a lemon in half and rub the cut side all of the cut end of the artichoke.
Set up a steamer by filling a pot with some water and a squeeze of lemon. Once the water is boiling, set the heat so the water is at a steady simmer. Set up the steamer basket inside and place the artichokes in the basket cut side down.
Place the lid on and allow the artichokes to steam for around 30 minutes, 35 minutes if they’re quite large. You know they’re finished when you can put a knife through the center of the stem with little resistance.
Allow the artichokes to cool. Combine your favorite Primal Kitchen Mayo with a squeeze of lemon and fresh cracked pepper.
How to Eat an Artichoke
This part is easy. Once your artichoke is cooled, peel the leaves off of one by one, dip in the mayo, and enjoy!
When you’re finished eating the leaves of the artichoke, it’s time to find and clean the heart. Pull off any remaining inner leaves (they’re usually in the shape of a little cone) to expose a fuzzy circle in the stem.
Scoop out those fuzzy pieces out with a spoon and you’ll be left with the artichoke heart, which is the base of the stem and artichoke. Slice it into a few pieces and dip it in the mayo. It’s the most tender, meaty part of the artichoke!
Nutrition Info (per one medium artichoke):
Calories: 60g Fat: 0g Total Carbs: 13g Net Carbs: 6g Protein: 4g
A food blogger, recipe developer, and personal chef based in Missouri, Priscilla specializes in low-carb, Paleo, gluten-free, keto, vegetarian, and low FODMAP cooking. See what she’s cooking on Priscilla Cooks, and follow her food adventures on Instagram and Pinterest.